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Introducing JBC Reviews

Open AccessPublished:January 01, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.E118.007239
      It's hard to believe another year has flown by. For us, we have reveled in the wonderful science appearing in the pages of our journal throughout the year. We also were able to celebrate several accomplishments of the JBC and ASBMB family: We honored our first crop of Herb Tabor Young Investigators whose papers embody the highest quality of JBC's content, and these emerging scientists were given the podium at the ASBMB Annual Meeting to showcase their work (
      • Gierasch L.M.
      • DeMartino G.
      The Herbert Tabor Young Investigator Awards: Meet the awardees!.
      ). We created a new content type, “ASBMB Award Articles,” authored by the outstanding scientists who were selected to receive awards from ASBMB (
      • Gierasch L.M.
      Looking back at the last two years: Coming home to JBC.
      ). And, we have had the joy of celebrating the centennial birthday of Herbert Tabor (
      • Gierasch L.M.
      • Guengerich F.P.
      Happy centennial birthday to Herb Tabor, pillar of JBC.
      ), who piloted JBC as Editor-in-Chief for four decades and spearheaded its transition to fully digital, well ahead of most of its peer journals. How farsighted! And, we will keep celebrating Herb Tabor's career by publishing a set of articles in early 2019 that exemplify his influence on the science of JBC.
      In addition to these endeavors, we've been working on another project this past year, which is making its debut in this issue: JBC Reviews. JBC has long published Minireviews, which have been trusted sources of expert commentary and analysis across the scope of biological chemistry. However, we had heard from our authors that they were finding the word limits of these pieces confining—they couldn't delve into their topics in the detail the recent findings and updated hypotheses deserved. Furthermore, journal guidelines limited the extent to which potential authors felt they could explore more interdisciplinary topics, which often require more background information to help scientists in diverse fields fully internalize a new concept or proposal. We remain nonetheless committed to publishing scholarly review articles, and we believe that reviews represent a type of content that serves the research community in a crucial way. Indeed, the power of a good review transcends other streams of literature. High quality reviews provide an overview of recent developments within a field, so that the reader is spared hunting down and reading hundreds of papers themselves, while also contextualizing findings in the field, describing controversies that are playing out in the field, and pointing to questions that still need solving. For those researchers new to a field, a good review can be crucial to understand aspects of a topic that are especially exciting or why a field that seemed to be dwindling in significance is suddenly on center stage again. And, the most stimulating reviews can synthesize disparate results into new models, changing the way scientists think about a discipline.
      What is our plan to preserve the impact of review content in JBC, but address some of the limitations we recognized in the Minireview format? Starting in 2019, JBC will no longer publish Minireviews; we are now introducing JBC Reviews, which will retain all the positive features of Minireviews and go further. This is what we intend to offer in JBC Reviews: Authors have latitude in the length of their reviews, and, in turn, authors will articulate their content so that it is accessible to the broad readership of JBC. We will provide professional assistance to ensure that figures and text are clear, informative, compelling, and consistent across the JBC Reviews format. And, most importantly, we will publish JBC Reviews that are at the forefront of science and blur artificial boundaries between disciplines. JBC Reviews will cover new methodologies and emerging intersections of fields that signal new directions in science. We commit to offer JBC Reviews that will stimulate your scientific inquiry, help you learn about fields that you may not follow closely, and provide excellent resources for educational and other purposes. We have a superb line-up of authors for the first wave of JBC Reviews, including one on computational approaches to study RNA-protein interactions by Moore and 't Hoen in this issue; please enjoy this and many upcoming JBC Reviews.

      References

        • Gierasch L.M.
        • DeMartino G.
        The Herbert Tabor Young Investigator Awards: Meet the awardees!.
        J. Biol. Chem. 2018; 293 (29500271): 3468-3469
        • Gierasch L.M.
        Looking back at the last two years: Coming home to JBC.
        J. Biol. Chem. 2018; 293 (30006389): 11254
        • Gierasch L.M.
        • Guengerich F.P.
        Happy centennial birthday to Herb Tabor, pillar of JBC.
        J. Biol. Chem. 2018; 293 (30504284): 18803